BWW Interviews: Dee Wallace Defines Bright Light For Her Life and For Yours
Actress Dee Wallace, best known as the mother of Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore in Steven Spielberg's E.T., is not only an award-winning actress but renowned acting coach and healer. The healing part of her career came out of the needs of her own personal turmoil. She has written three books, the latest called Bright Light. In our chat, she talks about the roots of her healing process and its components, Bright Light and her best loved work onscreen.
When I read that you were a healer, it surprised me. Forgive me, but I have not kept up with all the details of your busy life. Tell me how it all began. Was it a religious thing for you?
No. It was a desperation thing for me. In a nutshell, I was raised in a very poor family. My dad was an alcoholic all my life. He ended up committing suicide. Before he had even turned 55, I lost my husband of 18 years, Christopher Stone. (1995) He's the father of my daughter. When that happened I just dropped to my knees and in despair said, "I don't want to be this way anymore. I don't want to be a victim. I don't want to be angry.I want my life back." My dad had always called me bright light. And I always was, but when shit happens to us, we turn our light down. We lose ourselves. I was just sick of losing myself and not being who I was anymore. I said I want a way we can heal ourselves, and I swear to God, the next day, information started pouring in. I was raised a methodist in Kansas, so we went to church, but seriously until this happened, I never got what Ask and you shall receive meant. I want to do this, I want to know it, I'm gonna move, I'm not going to misuse energy anymore...that happens, and you get guidance from yourself, from others, from the world, I mean, it's weird to me. If you were to ask me twenty years ago, are you ever going to be anything but an actress?...I would have said, "What? Are you nuts? Like this doesn't consume enough of my life?" At the time, I also had one of the largest acting studios in town. All of my students embraced the creation process. They wanted it. I'm sure during hard times, I had a full studio when a lot of other people couldn't keep going ... because of this work. When you hear the truth, you want it. Anyway, I started doing it within the studio, and everybody's life and career were changing so exponentially, they went from "Can you do one for my girlfriend? Can you do one for my wife?" And it started to grow from there. Now it's going out all over the world every day, and I'm finishing my fourth book on it.
When you say you're asked to do one, will you describe specifically what the process of doing it entails?
What my specialty is...is I'm able to extrapolate from someone's energy by listening to their words and the vibrations that they say them with. Putting all the pieces together...I had one woman say "I've been in therapy for ten years, and I've gotten further with you in one hour." But the people who come to work with me are the people that are ready to take responsibility for their own lives. It's not, "Can you do some mumbo jumbo and save me and heal me, so I can stay in my victimness?" That's not what I do. I want a way we can heal ourselves. So, I bring in the information, and they choose whether they want to shift their lives or not. And that's why I wrote Bright Light. It occurred to me in this divine flash that the technique I use in my acting is exactly the technique of the creation process. And I thought "How brilliant" -she says humbly (she snickers)- "to combine the two worlds." You can go on amazon.com and read the testimonials, because basically what so many of them say is "It's your story, Dee, but it's my story." I get it. When I shut down, I know who hurt me, I know when I decided to lose my life, I get it...and I get that it's up to me to empower me again.
Did you have an abusive father?
No. He was never physically abusive, but very mentally and emotionally abusive to my mother when he would get very drunk. Never to the kids. But...
You were in the presence of it...
Absolutely. So I witnessed every night my dad getting drunk, running around naked, berating my mother...and my little brother getting very frightened, because there would be a lot of yelling...rescuing him and being the guardian of everybody, and pulling my dad off my mom and having to put my naked father into a cold shower to sober him up so he could keep a job...those aren't pretty things for a young girl. But you know, I want to be very clear...that's my story, and if I keep going back to my story and hanging on to my story and using my story to limit myself, I never create myself in this moment. And that's what so many of us are doing, and we don't understand why the creation process isn't happening, 'cause we're still trying to fix all the old shit. You just have to go, "That's what happened. I honor it, there's a reason, and the reason is I've got to learn the lesson that nobody or nothing can define me ever. I always get to choose to define me. How do I want to write the virtual reality of my script now?"
You do it in the lab and also privately?
I do three to five privates a day from Tokyo, London and Australia, Canada, all over the United States.
You do them on skype?
On skype, on the phone and in person. I just had my first training weekend on how to do this work. I had twenty people in my home and twenty people online at a pretty good, hefty price, I must add. It's incredibly empowering work...I started with one master class, so many people were asking me...and shit, everybody's working now! Creation can and should be very fast and miraculous. But you have to believe that that's a possibility in order for you to create that.
Tell me about the other two books previous to Bright Light. How are they different?
Conscious Creation is all channeled heady material, very much focused toward the spiritual community. Bright Light I wrote because I wanted to reach a larger audience and tell a story that would relate to their story and that they could enjoy. Look, if you're just an acting fan of mine, you'll love Bright Light as much as somebody who's looking for a spiritual lesson. I tell all the great stories of all my great directors and stuff that happened on the sets, so Bright Light is a much more accessible book. The Big E I wrote with one of my healing partners Jarrad Hewett, and it was just a lot of fun. We take all the things of our lifetimes that we've been raised with, that our mothers espoused overtures over and over again and go, "Look, this is what they used in order to teach you the wrong thing. The true understanding of creation...this is what it means." I call it my toilet book. It's great to sit on the toilet with - it's only a page, page and a half, each one...but you get it, you get it through the humor.
Let's switch over to acting for a while. I recently rewatched 10. You were so funny in that and by today's standards you should have been nominated for an Oscar for Supporting Actress.
Thank you. A lot of people thought I should have been put up, but I wasn't with an agent that was big enough. Nobody was taking care of me.
Stephen King says that about Cujo on his website; that's his favorite film that was ever made.
Any new films coming up?
I had a great zombie film that I really have high hopes for; a distributor of horror films just picked it up. It's called Exit Humanity. I also just finished a film with Doris Roberts, which is a cute little comedy called Margarine Wars.
You're always working, and now with the healing, you're busy 24/7.
Pretty much, and I love it all. I just love...it...all.
You seem to be having fun. You radiate warmth from within. You always have. You glow and have such a positive effect on everybody.
Thank you. That's the best compliment you can give anybody.
As well as being a great actress, I've always imagined that you are a truly great person as well.
I am. (we laugh) I faked my life for a long time. What you see now...people come up to me all the time, strangers in the airport, literally and say, "I just wanted to say hi. I don't know why."
Do you have a favorite film of the ones you've done?
Cujo. As an actor, I went about as far as you can go. I'm truthful in every moment. I adore E.T. and I adore The Howling; I love all the films that I've done that are worth anything, but Cujo (1983), I've got to say...what it asked of me was so much more than I knew I had to give. I did it well I can claim that.
Anything that you want to add for our readers about Bright Light?
If you truly want to get out and create what you want, love yourself. The first thing is to love yourself. Every day you get up, you go, "How can I love myself more?" ...'cause none of us are every taught to do that. And that truly is the creation of your power...you love, your light. When you know that, you know that you literally are the creation of you. Knowing you're the creation of you, there's nothing you can't create.
Dee Wallace will be appearing at Vroman's in Pasadena on August 30. Don't miss her! In the meantime, visit:
For more information, visit www.iamdeewallace.com.